Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top Four Posts are regarding the NEW Government Issued Mammogram Guidelines

As a Woman, a Nurse, and coming from a family that has battled Breast Cancer, and as Someone who was Cancelled by Insurance due to the Breast Cancer Family History, I am gravely concerned and disturbed by the New Guidelines issued by the Government Prevention Task Force.

(1) Please see below The Task Force has NO Practicing Physicians caring for Women with Breast Cancer.
(2) The Guidelines were made with No Consultation of Breast Cancer Experts, the Main Dr.Petitti who has been the spokesperson on the News is NOT a Medical Doctor, she has a Degree in Economics.
(3) Was this "Change" in recommended Care based on Preventing Higher Costs of Care ? Improved Screening Saves Lives WHY would it be changed at this point as Breast Cancer still is battled by One in Eight Women, and is still the Number 2 Cancer in Women. WHY were NO Cancer Experts or Organizations Consulted about this Issue ?

Please do read all the posts below and you will see WHY there is Concern about these New Guidelines for the Safety of Women. Please do talk to your Doctor and also do continue to see the American Cancer Society's Stance on this issue.

Please Do read the American Cancer Society's Stance on Mammograms is....
They Continue to Stand by their Recommendation for Yearly Mammograms for Women in their 40s, and Self Checks as well. I will post their stance in the Comments as well.
In the Posts below I raised concerns that NONE of the "Doctors" that were hired by Bush and were to focus on these Prevention Strategies were Actual Practicing Medical Doctors- Especially CANCER Doctors. I also noted below that the Main Spokesperson for the Task Force is an Economics Professor, Dr.Pettit.

NOW the Other Link I was seeking about Task Force was DO they have a Connection with the Insurance Industry ? YES they do. I went back to their website and sure enough they set up Special Centers to Study Prevention , I posted the List in the Comments,PLEASE SEE THE LIST BECAUSE THERE IS THE INSURANCE LINK- BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHEILD....


D.K. Raed said...

I could not disagree more with the new mamo guidelines. No woman should have to wait until they feel a lump before getting a mamogram. And I cannot imagine a woman who got a false positive being unwilling to get further mamograms until after age 50.

A woman I worked with was dx'd with the most deadly invasive form of breast cancer at age 47, detected soley due to her annual mamogram. Thanks to the mamo, surgery & aggressive chemo, she is still cancer free 10-yrs later.

To me, this sounds like another insurance company attempt to deny coverage of woman's health issues. They are truly evil.

Mary K. from L.A. said...

I heard this on the morning news and immediately thought that someone'd been smoking a little crack to have come up with such an insane dangerous terrible idea.

Look, mammos are so not the most fun thing a woman does in her life (it's probably second in not-fun to labor pains), but it saves lives.

I wonder what is happening in this country: first the Stupid, er, excuse me, I meant Stupac Amendment which takes away a basic right that women have been fighting for for decades. Now this. Who are the mysogenists in the government who want us dead?

Fran said...

I even heard they said do away w self exams!
SEveral Oncologists have stepped up in our area saying they disagree, they think yearly mammograms @ age 40 is essential.
This does wreak of some bean counter trying to save ins companies money.
Hell if they don't have early detection, maybe it will be too late to even try.
This is bad news & literally ill advised.

enigma4ever said...

American Cancer Society 's Statement Part One:::
American Cancer Society Responds to Changes to USPSTF Mammography Guidelines
The American Cancer Society guidelines will not change; annual mammography recommended for women 40 and over

Atlanta 2009/11/16 -November 16, 2009—The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today announced that it is changing its guidelines for mammography and no longer recommends routine screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49. Below is a statement from Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society.
“The American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual screening using mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at age 40. Our experts make this recommendation having reviewed virtually all the same data reviewed by the USPSTF, but also additional data that the USPSTF did not consider. When recommendations are based on judgments about the balance of risks and benefits, reasonable experts can look at the same data and reach different conclusions.

“In 2003, an expert panel convened by the American Cancer Society conducted an extensive review of the data available at the time, which was not substantially different from the data included in the current USPSTF review. Like the USPSTF, the Society’s panel found convincing evidence that screening with mammography reduces breast cancer mortality in women ages 40-74, with age-specific benefits varying depending on the results of individual trials and which trials were combined in meta-analyses. And like the USPSTF, the American Cancer Society panel also found that mammography has limitations – some women who are screened will have false alarms; some cancers will be missed; and some women will undergo unnecessary treatment. These limitations are somewhat greater in women in their forties compared with women in their fifties, and somewhat greater in women in their fifties compared with women in their sixties. We specifically noted that the overall effectiveness of mammography increases with increasing age. But the limitations do not change the fact that breast cancer screening using mammography starting at age 40 saves lives. “As someone who has long been a critic of those overstating the benefits of screening, I use these words advisedly: this is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over, be she a patient, a stranger, or a family member.

“The USPSTF says that screening 1,339 women in their 50s to save one life makes screening worthwhile in that age group. Yet USPSTF also says screening 1,904 women ages 40 to 49 in order to save one life is not worthwhile. The American Cancer Society feels that in both cases, the lifesaving benefits of screening outweigh any potential harms. Surveys of women show that they are aware of these limitations, and also place high value on detecting breast cancer early.

enigma4ever said...

American Cancer Society Statement Part 2:::

“With its new recommendations, the USPSTF is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives; just not enough of them. The task force says screening women in their 40s would reduce their risk of death from breast cancer by 15 percent, just as it does for women in their 50s. But because women in their 40s are at lower risk of the disease than women 50 and above, the USPSTF says the actual number of lives saved is not enough to recommend widespread screening. The most recent data show us that approximately 17 percent of breast cancer deaths occurred in women who were diagnosed in their 40s, and 22 percent occurred in women diagnosed in their 50s. Breast cancer is a serious health problem facing adult women, and mammography is part of our solution beginning at age 40 for average risk women.

“The American Cancer Society acknowledges the limitations of mammography, and we remain committed to finding better tests, and currently are funding a large study to improve the accuracy of mammography. In fact, data show the technology used today is better than that used in the studies in this review, and more modern studies show that mammography is achieving better results than those achieved in these early experimental studies that go back as far as the mid-60’s. And as scientists work to make mammography even more effective, the American Cancer Society’s medical staff and volunteer experts overwhelmingly believe the benefits of screening women aged 40 to 49 outweigh its limitations.”

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Celia Harrison said...

My first thought was if there was some kind of deal that had been made with insurance companies. This scares me. I had chronic diarrhea in my 30s and had a colonoscopy. They found a pre-cancerous polyp and removed it. I have a half-sister who just died of colon cancer who is a few years older than me. If I had not had that colonoscopy and waited until the standard reocommendations I would have probably died before her.

Jennyjinx said...

I read that they considered 1 in 1906 women dying too low a number to justify the discomfort and "danger" of a mammogram. WTF? If you consider there are appr. 150 million women in this country, that's nearly 10,000 (approx.) that they would let DIE. For what?

And they're recommending that doctors STOP teaching women how to do self-exams because these women don't find enough tumors on their own. HUH? this is totally outrageous.

I'm thinking the insurance companies have their claws digging into the government again. I'm imagining they're trying to cut costs before the HCR bill is passed. If this panel doesn't recommend mammograms until 50, they'll stop paying for them until 50 (in those states that mandate the coverage).

thepoetryman said...

That's like waiting until the train is five feet away before crossing the tracks!

enigma4ever said...

The Task Force Worked with EPC Centers: LOOK at the List- esp NO1::
In October 2007, AHRQ announced the third award of 5-year contracts for EPC-III to 14 Evidence-based Practice Centers to continue and expand the work performed by the previous group of EPCs. Most of the third group of EPCs were part of the initial set. However, EPC-III brings in two new institutions to the program-the University of Connecticut and Vanderbilt University--while Stanford has concluded its contract as one of the original EPCs.

Five of the EPCs specialize in conducting technology assessments for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Go to: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/techix.htm for more information.

One EPC concentrates on supporting the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Go to: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm for more information.

The current EPCs are located at:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Technology Evaluation Center. .
Duke University.1
ECRI Institute.1
Johns Hopkins University.
McMaster University.
Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center.
Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center.2
RTI International—University of North Carolina.
Southern California.
Tufts—New England Medical Center.1
University of Alberta.1
University of Connecticut.
University of Ottawa.
Vanderbilt University.